Criminal Punishment of Corporation for Acts of Employees

According to the Law Times, a Korean legal vernacular, laws which punish corporations or presidents of corporations, regardless of their “intent” or “negligence,” when a corporation’s manager commits a crime may be amended in the near future. President-Elect Lee intends to abolish most of these criminal laws and allow sanctions to be handled through administrative procedures. The Ministry of Justice and some progressive NGOs may oppose the amendments. However, some noted academics and lawyers have already shown their support for the amendments. Kang Dong-Bum, a professor at Ewha University, said that “Calling corporations and presidents to criminal account only because of the acts of an employer is wrong and they should be called to criminal account only when they have intention or negligence” Kang also noted, however, tha fines allowed to be imposed through administrative actions should be drastically increased. Expect amendments to be enacted in the later part of

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No American Law Firms in Korea – YET

Posted by:  Sean Hayes (Chair, Korea Practice Group at IPG)[email protected] _____________________ The KOR-EU FTA passed and thus British law firms will be able to setup shop in Korea over a five-year three-stage phase-in period.  All of the leading British firms have begun building relationships with an eye to formal partnerships.  KOR-US FTA, however, has stalled because of opposition of some prominent lawmakers in the liberal parties even though the two FTAs are very similar in scope. The following article is an interesting article on the intention of an American law firm in the Korean market and shows that local firms have nothing to fear and will benefit from these firms’ focus on quality, profitability per attorney and equitable management. Full Disclosure: We have not had a meeting with the firm mentioned in the article. _________IPG is engaged in projects for companies, entrepreneurs and individuals doing business in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Korea, Laos,

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Avoid Moral Hazard

Avoid Moral Hazard By Sean HayesAppeared in the Korea Times on January 8, 2008 President-elect Lee Myung-bak, during the campaign, pledged to create a 7 trillion won fund, managed by a presidential body, to assist in alleviating difficulties being felt by credit delinquents. The fund is equal to 5 percent of the ordinary annual budget of 2007. It has been estimated, by the Financial Supervisory Commission, that 3 million individuals are in default on loans and an additional 4 million individuals, because of past defaults, are unable to obtain credit. The fund, in part, will be used to restructure debts and create micro-credit banks. President-elect Lee, according to reports in this and other news sources, may also force companies to delete negative information from credit reports. We hope President-elect Lee won’t fall into this populist trap. He has many bold fiscally sound plans that are needed to lead this country

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Corporate Downsizing the Korean Way

Corporate Downsizing the Korean Way Appeared in the Korea Times on May 18, 2007Lex Pro Bono Column Dear Professor Sean Hayes, I am working for a company that has notified us that they will layoff around 25 workers. I heard that under the Korean Labor Law an employer cannot dismiss employees without just cause. Is this true and what can I do to protect my job? Worried in Yeouido. Dear Worried, the Korean Labor Law provides some protection from dismissal by employers, but provides little protection for employees that are dismissed because of serious economic difficulties facing an employer. Korean Labor Law is codified in the Korean Labor Standards Act (LSA). The LSA is a statute that dictates the working standards for most workplaces. The statute is vague and most of its language has been developed through case law. Article 30 and 31 of the LSA assist in guaranteeing employment

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Four oil companies fined for price rigging

Korea Herald Feb. 23, 2007 The Fair Trade Commission yesterday slapped fines of 52.6 billion won ($54.5 million) on four major oil refineries for illegal price-fixing. The antitrust watchdog said SK Corp., Hyundai Oilbank Corp., GS Caltex Corp. and S-Oil Corp. were found to have conspired to raise prices of petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene in 2004. The FTC also decided to file a complaint against the four companies to the prosecution. “The oil cartel, between April 1 and June 10, is estimated to have caused customer damage amounting to 240 billion won, or 15 percent of the companies’ total sales,” the FTC said. The four refiners’ combined sales from April to June were 1.6 trillion won, it said. “The refiners are suspected of fixing prices for longer periods but as of yet, we only have evidence of illegal practices during those two months.” The oil companies

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